A Closer Look at Moderate Properties
In a previous blog I addressed the Value Properties. Now let’s review how the MODERATE Properties differ from the Value Properties.
Disney Moderate Properties: Overview
Moderate Properties include Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. These Resorts offer increased amenities over the Value Properties which include: Table Service restaurants in addition to a Food Court, more sophisticated theming, slightly larger rooms, water slides at the main pool, and additional “quiet” pools. Recreational activities are also available at these resorts for additional fees. For example, surrey bikes are available for rent at Port Orleans and Pirate Adventure Cruises (for children age 3-12) are available options at Caribbean Beach Resort, as is catch and release fishing. Moderate Properties overall are much larger properties in general than the Value Properties and are very spaced out, read: there is a lot of walking. They do offer multiple bus stop pick ups/drop offs throughout the resort to compensate; however, this can make for a slightly longer bus ride to/from the parks.
The atmosphere at the Moderate Resorts are centered around a more sophisticated theme than the Value Resorts. For example, Caribbean Beach Resort has a very “beachy” feel with pastel buildings and hammocks and sandy shores around a lagoon. Port Orleans feels very New Orleans with Riverside’s Plantation mansion building facades, Alligator Bayou sections and French Quarter’s Mardi Gras energy. The pools match the overarching themes, as well as all walkways. Overall the best way to describe the look is that they are incredibly beautiful!
Standard Guest Rooms: Moderate Rooms can accommodate 4 or 5 guests plus 1 infant in a crib. Rooms have the same exterior entrance as the Value Resorts and the same interior amenities, but are slightly larger at 314 sq feet and feature 2 Queen beds or 1 King. Bathrooms are fairly similar to the Value Properties. They differ in that they feature 2 sinks at the vanity area, which also has a curtained partition for additional privacy. More elaborate and specific theming is evident in the room décor, but overall, it is fairly similar to the Value Properties.
Specialty Rooms: Some Moderate Resorts offer specialty rooms with enhanced amenities and decor. Caribbean Beach Resort has Pirate Themed rooms with Pirate Ship beds and Port Orleans Riverside features Royal Guest rooms with a greeting from Tiana and headboards containing fireworks, both for an increased daily rate. Coronado Springs Resort also offers Junior Suites, 1 Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites for those needing larger accommodations, but also at greatly increased prices.
Cabins: The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are sort of in their own category. Sleeping 6, the recently refurbished cabins are 504 sq feet, have a separate bedroom with a 1 Queen bed, and also feature a set of bunk beds and a double sized sleeper sofa. They have one bathroom and a complete kitchen area with stainless steel appliances and a dining table. The resort covers hundreds of acres and while there are internal buses for transportation, many folks will rent a golf cart to get around the resort. Transportation to most parks is by bus; however, there is a boat launch over to Magic Kingdom. If you are bringing a car, it would be faster to drive to the parks.
Pools: The pools at the Moderate Properties are a nice step up from the Value Properties. Each will have a main pool featuring a water slide as well as advanced detail and theming matching the resort. Pool towel service is available at the main pool, so no need to drag your room towels with you. Quiet pools are also available. These smaller pools do not have lifeguards, but also do not have music pumping through speakers or cast members on a microphone conducting poolside games like at the Main Pools. Quiet pools are much more relaxed and, well, quiet! All pools are heated and opened year-round. Moderate Resorts also feature at least one rather large hot tub. Some resorts have lovely themed splash areas such as Caribbean Beach’s Pirate Ship. The pools at Fort Wilderness, unlike the other Moderate Resorts, have no frills, but the main pool does have a waterslide and hot tub.
Each resort will feature a Main Building which houses the gift shop, food court and in some cases the check in area (in some cases check in has its own building). Typically, Table Service restaurants are also housed in the main building as well. Bus stops located throughout the resorts will always have a stop at the Main Building where you can catch a bus to any of the Disney Parks or Disney Springs.
Transportation: Complimentary Park Transportation, like the Value Properties is via bus. However, unlike the Value Properties, the bus waiting areas at the Moderate Properties are a step up in that they are sheltered from weather and feature screens with expected arrival times for upcoming buses/destination, making waiting just a bit more comfortable!
Price Range: Different room types carry different rates.
Caribbean Beach: A standard room sleeping 4 runs a non-discounted rate of $187 weekday/$216 weekend in Value Season (late Jan/ early Feb). The water or pool view rooms which accommodate 5 during the same period is $215 weekday/$227 weekend. The standard room has its highest rate Christmas week at $300/night, the same week a water/pool view room is $322/night. Summer rate for a standard room is $227/$251, whereas water/pool view for summer is $256 per night. Specialty Pirate Themed rooms run a low of $259/279, summer $312, to a high of $352 per night.
Port Orleans Riverside: A standard room sleeping 4 in Value Season runs a low of $213/$226, summer rate $252 and a high of $323 Christmas week. A preferred room sleeping 5 is a low of $264/$286, summer rate $305, and a high Christmas week of $358 per night. The Royal rooms are a low of $266/$288, summer rate $325, to a high of $374/night Christmas week.
Port Orleans French Quarter: All standard rooms at this resort sleep 4, except King bed rooms which sleep 2. Value Season lows start at $213/weekday and $233/weekend. Summer rates are $252/night, and Christmas week is $323 per night. Pool view rates are as follows: Value $233/$256, Summer $300, and Christmas week $349. King bed rooms are slightly higher than the pool view rates.
Coronado Springs: Standard rooms sleeping 4 come in at a low of $191/$216 in Value Season, summer rate of $227/$251, and a high holiday season rate of $348 per night. Preferred rooms with a better location is $266/$290 in Value Season, summer rates are $308 and Christmas week is $348/night. The Suites are limited in number, and easily stretch into the $700- $1000 per night range, which make them not very appealing to most guests.
Cabins at Fort Wilderness: Cabins have a low rate in Value season of $348 weekday/$382 weekend, summer rate of $405/$426 and a Christmas week high at $606/night.
RECOMMENDATIONS: My favorite Moderate Property is Caribbean Beach Resort. The beach theme is beautifully evident with sandy beaches, hammocks, and a lovely themed large pool with slide and a Pirate Ship splash area. The food court is organized by food type, which requires waiting in separate lines, but alleviates the somewhat chaotic feel of other food courts without such arrangement. I do not recommend the Pirate rooms as they are located furthest from the main building and do not add enough to justify the increased cost. Please note: This resort is currently undergoing rather extensive renovations including the relocating the Main Building to a more central position which will make all the Pirate Rooms which more attractive. Port Orleans Riverside is a nice resort when you have a party of 5 or a party of 4 consisting of an older boy and girl who need separate sleeping locations.